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EXTEND MOBILE INTO MAINTENANCE

25 September 2012

The use of mobile applications within industry is starting to really take hold, thanks to the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets. CDA looks at a first fully functional integrated mobile SCADA and maintenance system, available from Schad, a company new to the UK

Traditional SCADA systems rely on manual approaches to fixing faults with the intervention of a control room Supervisor. But these are time consuming and prone to miscommunication and risk. Using mobile SCADA, manual intervention is avoided because alerts are issued immediately, with a workflow generated to inform colleagues of all issues as they arise and the subsequent progress.

Combining the knowledge of two previously separate fields – the world of mobile data communication and the automation technology world, mobile SCADA enables organisations to eliminate paperwork and cut unscheduled downtime and its associated costs by reducing response times to problems or systems failure.

Schad’s Extend 7000 is a family of mobile software products for maintenance engineering that can be used on any mobile device across an existing Wi-Fi or GPRS network.

Extend 7000 is a mobile SCADA system and software application that targets reduction in plant equipment unplanned downtime by reducing the engineer’s time to attend and then serving as a mobile tool to assist with fault diagnosis. Extend 7000 is aimed at engineers supporting automated systems within distribution centres, airports, manufacturing plants, utilities companies and any other automated environments controlled by PLCs (programmable logic controllers). It allows authorised users to monitor, control and maintain multiple systems remotely, using any mobile device from any location. Engineers using Extend 7000 are kept fully up to date with system performance and have the ability to remotely control the operation, for instance by shutting down faulty pumps or starting additional backup systems.

Founded in 2007 in Germany by Christian Schad, with the aim of developing a global standard for the mobile operation, control and maintenance of automated systems using an ordinary mobile device, Schad is now establishing an office in the UK. Its client base includes BASF (chemicals), Brillux (paint manufacturer), Vanderlande Industries (baggage handling) and Frosta (frozen foods).

MOBILE SCADA ENABLES ORGANISATIONS TO ELIMINATE PAPERWORK AND CUT UNSCHEDULED DOWNTIME AND ITS ASSOCIATED COSTS
 

The system can monitor a wide range of data sources and can connect to multiple SCADA systems, databases and programmable logic controllers running automated machinery in distribution centres, airports, production lines and utilities companies. It extends monitoring and controlling onto a mobile device such as Blackberry, iPhone, tablet PCs, Android and any windows mobile terminal. Highly scalable, it can monitor many 100,000s of individual system parameters (tags) maintained in a database.

FAULT NOTIFICATION

From any location and within seconds of an issue occurring, the Extend 7000 range allows engineering or maintenance personnel to receive and process fault notifications, create and process work orders plus monitor and control multiple automation systems. Even on the largest industrial installations, it typically takes less than six seconds from a fault initially being detected to an alert arriving on an available engineer's mobile device.

Extend 7000 can also be used for distributing and executing maintenance work orders and for transferring and displaying maintenance activities.Maintenance staff can also report actual time spent on a task via their mobile device and connect to other backend systems such as IBM Maximo and SAP PM maintenance systems for example, to obtain historical system information.

Finally,Extend 7000 acts as a mobile gateway with the ability to read and write to PLC control parameters, download service documentation, even to view video footage of a fault recorded with CCTV.

Key Points

  • Extend 7000 is aimed at engineers supporting automated systems
  • Monitors a wide range of data sources and can connect to multiple SCADA systems, databases and PLCs

 
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